Qiantang River in Hangzhou

Why is Qiantang River So Special?

  1. Qiantang River is the biggest in Zhejiang Province, running from the west to Hangzhou Bay in the east. It serves as a river hinge, playing an important role in the water-transportation between the east and the west. It is encircled by a group of economically booming cities including Shanghai, the leading industrial and commercial hub of the country, and Ningbo, one of China’s leading port cities.
  2. The extraordinary surging tide of the River is a world-renowned natural wonder caused by the gravitational pull of the stars and planets.

Brief Introduction

Qiantang River

The Qiantang River is a river in East China. An important commercial artery, it runs for 459 kilometers (285 mi) through Zhejiang, passing through the provincial capital Hangzhou before flowing into the East China Sea via Hangzhou Bay.

Qiangtang River Tidal Bore

The spectacular Qiantang River Tidal Bore is known as one of the largest tidal bores in the world. In a year, there are about 120 days to watch tidal waves which the largest is on the eighteenth day of the eight month on Chinese lunar calendar (during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival). Watching tidal bore has been a great tradition in Hangzhou for over 2000 years’ history. Starting from Han Dynasty and blooming in Tang and Song periods, on the eighth month of the lunar calendar, people have gathered along the shores of Qiantang River to witness the waves of its famous bore tide. As early as the Northern Song Dynasty, the famous poet Su Shi praised “Aug. 18 tidal waves, the magnificent in the world” (八月十八潮,壮观天下无).

Why Qiantang River Tidal Bore is Formed?

Qiantang River, also called Zhe River, originates in the border region of Anhui and Jiangxi provinces. It runs for 459 kilometers through Zhejiang, passing through the capital city – Hangzhou and Yanguan Town, Haining City before flowing into the East China Sea via Hangzhou Bay.

The forming of Qiantang River is influenced by principle of universal gravitation, the shape of the bayou, riverbed, hydrology, climate, etc. On the first day and fifteen day of every lunar month, especially the eighteenth day of the eighth month of Chinese lunar calendar, the sun, moon and earth are located more or less on a line in space. Hence, the tide generating force reaches up to the largest. Another reason is that the Hangzhou Bay is trumpet-shaped. The inside part of the bayou is very narrow while the outer part can be as wide as 100 kilometers. When the seawater flows to the bayou, it suffers more restriction from the narrowing banks as it goes further to the inner part. The seawater is forced to rise higher and higher.  The highest tidal bore can reach up to 9 meters (30 feet) high.

Best Locations to Enjoy Qiantang River

There are three best locations to enjoy Qiantang River: Daquekou, Tidal Wave Watching Park of Yanguan Town and Laoyancang.

  • Daquekou and Laoyancang: Free
  • Tidal Wave Watching Park of Yanguan Town, Haining City
    Entrance Ticket: CNY 30
    Ticket price will be adjusted during the Tidal Wave Watching Festival (from the 13th to 20th of the eighth month on Chinese lunar calendar).

Recommended Tour Packages

Best Time to Watch Qiantang Tidal Waves

To watch Qiantang River tidal waves, travelers can come to Qiantang River on the first, second , third, fourth, fifth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth day of each Chinese lunar month. In total, there are about 120 days with tidal bores while the largest is on the eighteenth day of the eight month on Chinese lunar calendar. Travelers should arrive half an hour before the report time to wait for the tide which is usually at 11:45 to 14:15. (For tidal time changes everyday, please ask your tour guide for the exact time or check the information reported by the tourist sites.)

How to get to Qiantang River From Hangzhou

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to Qiantang River in Hangzhou in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

Visitors should take regular buses from Hangzhou Passenger Transport Central Station to Haining and then take local buses to reach the three locations.

  • To Daquekou
    Take Haining Bus 106/ 108 to Haichao Station and walk south for 1km to your destination.
  • To Tidal Wave Watching Park
    After arriving in Haining, you can take Haining Bus 109/ 216 to Yanguan Scenic Area; or take Haining Bus 106 to Dadongmen.
    You can also take Bus 868 or 868 Holiday Line from Hangzhou Passenger Transport Central Station to Yancang Bus Station, and then take Haining Bus 106 there.
  • To Laoyancang
    1. From Haining Bus Station, take Haining Bus 106, 108, or 113 there.
    2. Take Bus 868 or 868 Holiday Line from Hangzhou Passenger Transport Central Station directly to Laoyancang Station.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Avoid visiting during school holidays and Golden Week in October as there will be large numbers of local tourists.
  2. Accommodation
    There are hotels both inside and outside the scenic area. It’s close to West Lake. You can also choose to book a hotel near West Lake.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月